How to prepare for childbirth
7 minute read, Written By: Momly
Hey new moms, are you getting closer to your pregnancy due date? Do the anxious thoughts like handling pain, whether you will have any help at the last moment or the running back and forth for barrage of tests and ultrasounds overwhelm you? Are you spending your ninth month mulling over your D-day? Relax, Momly has got all of it covered. In this blog, we are going to round up few things that you need to do before labor. In short, we will tell you how to prepare for your labor with simple, easy-to-adhere pointers.
Pregnancy is a period of joy and one of the huge milestones in your life. Being pregnant means lot of learning and on the job experience for you. Even if you have read books, like ‘what to expect when you are expecting’ or ‘50 things to do before you deliver’ cover to cover, you will have string of questions in your mind taking you in its spin. The carousel of thoughts never stops. When you are chancing on the unknown, you will need to go fully armed isn’t it? Our goal is to help you connect the dots to complete the full picture of your labor with ease.
Importance of prenatal care
One of the main keywords in pregnancy which is often overlooked is prenatal care. Prenatal care is vital and helps you to prepare for your labor. While studies emphasize on prenatal care and its benefits, it has been only few years that everyone has started embracing it in their life. So, what is prenatal care? To understand how to prepare for labor, first let’s unravel the significance of prenatal care.
Prenatal care mainly consists of regular visits to test and scan, consuming vital prenatal supplements, eating pregnancy friendly foods, keeping the mind absorbed in garbhasanskar routine, and having a fitness/prenatal yoga regimen. Following these religiously leads to healthy pregnancy. Healthy labor needs all of these plus more of a disciplined approach to prolong these activities till your due date.
How to prepare for your labor?
Enrol in a childbirth class – Childbirth class is a best way to address all your queries during pregnancy. The childbirth class prepares you for labor, educates you on childbirth and offers methods to cope up with labor. You will know natural pain management and epidurals, relaxation strategies and gain insight on different labor positions. Ask your queries to a childbirth expert and seek clarifications on vital aspects of childbirth. Some of the classes offer post pregnancy education which works as a major help for new moms.
Keep taking your prenatal supplements - Prenatal vitamins or supplements is very much needed for your baby’s growth and development. Folic acid, a super food or super vitamin supplement helps avoid neural defects in your baby and is recommended in your pregnancy first trimester. Also, prenatal vitamins prevent preterm birth and other complications like miscarriage, low birth weight and preeclampsia.
Watch your diet – Do not indulge in pregnancy unsafe foods. That will lead to complications in your pregnancy. Eat nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. Consume daily diary intake, and food groups like protein, vitamins and fiber. You can lose yourself to craving now and then but do not go heavy on junk foods. Keep a pack of health mix or munch on superfoods like nuts and seeds to keep you nourished between meals.
Be on a move – Keeping the fitness regimen on improves agility during labor and reduces stress/anxieties. Practice yoga or low intensity movements in third trimester which will boost flexibility and prepare your body for childbirth. You can follow some of the labor inducing exercises like climbing stairs, butterfly pose, walking few steps daily or squats to boost your pelvic strength, dilate the cervix and improve flexibility.
Don’t mentally exert yourself – Sounds cliché but you should be taking less stress when you are nearing to your labor. Stress is bound to happen with wayward hormones in the horizon. Find ways to keep yourself mentally at peace like listening to soothing music, venting out to your mom friends, and watching positive movies. Sleep is underrated but it is a best way to repair your body, refresh the thought circuit and soothe you in times of pregnancy.
Be present for tests and scans – Testing is a ritual that you should not be missing in your pregnancy. Your third trimesters tests will be more often and would be planned every two or three weeks. Be there for all the tests and scans which will give your clarity on the road ahead and would be easier for the doctor to arrive at a decision on your labor.
Pack your hospital supplies – You cannot get in to your labor without prepping your hospital bag. Invest some time before hand to keep your bag ready. Read Momly’s blog on ‘What should be in your hospital bag’ for a quick guide and choose wisely. Throw in some comfortable clothes, toiletries, bath towel, sanitary pads etc for yourself and soft breathable clothes, blankets, diapers and wet wipes for your baby. Go for necessary items rather than bulking up luxury in your supplies bag.
Gather your support system – Your support system could be your spouse, your parents, in-laws and other extended relatives. Have them ready when you are approaching your due date. Have a back up option ready when your primary spouse has to leave your side for some emergency. Remember, your support system is your strength which you need to assemble before your due date.
Embrace positivity – Cultivate positivity in your daily life. The anxiety and depressing thoughts might intervene in your daily hustle during pregnancy but engage your mind in positive activities like music, chanting, reading happy books or put your mind in creative activities like painting, playing an instrument etc. You can enrol in a garbha sanskar course to keep your mind glued to positive activities on a daily basis. The best of all, speak to your mom friends in The Momly app. Your mom friends might have travelled the same path and more than anyone else, they would be able to guide you on how to invite positivity during pregnancy.